Location: Nice, France
Overall Rating: 9/10
The Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditerranée has an enviable location along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. The gorgeous blue water of the Mediterranean is at your doorstep, and the Vieux Ville (Old Town) is a mere 10 minute walk. All the research I did when planning our summer trip to Europe pointed to this hotel as the best option for our stay in Nice. With our Hyatt free night certificates freshly in hand, I used all but one to book a three night stay for the first few nights of our trip. The cash rate was running about €400 per night, so I’d say this was a great use of our free nights!
The Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditeranée is very easy to access from the airport. The #98 express bus runs from the airport to the promenade and old town every 20 minutes for most of the day, and it is a bargain at €6 per person one-way. A taxi or Uber journey will run you an easy €40, if not substantially more! And lest you think it may be inconvenient to walk from a bus stop to the hotel, bus #98 literally stops just down the block from the Hyatt Regency.
The hotel looks impressive from the outside. The hotel entry is on the corner, where you are greeted by a beautiful lobby and cheerful staff. The front desk staff were very helpful and professions. At check in we were given a modest upgrade to a “Partial Sea View” room.
We made our way up to our room on the 8th floor. The elevator and hall are elegant, but definitely not overstated. Our room was the second to last one on the floor and quite a ways from the elevator.
The doors used the modern NFC key cards, which I much prefer to the old mag-stripe ones, which I often have trouble with. This stay would have gone smoothly, except it was on three reservations (each Hyatt free night has to be booked individually). Our keys seemed to reset during the middle of each day. I had expected the staff to link the reservations, but that didn’t seem to affect the programming of the room keys. We had to get new ones every afternoon.
The layout of the room was nice. There was a small toilet room directly to the left as you enter, then the bathroom on the left, closet on the right, and the actual room beyond.
The bathroom was lovely. It featured a very nice tub, sizable sink, and a large tiled shower. My wife’s only complaint was the placement of the hair dryer. It was located on the left side, the cord wasn’t especially long, and you had to push the button the whole time to keep it on. It was awkward as she (and most people) are right handed. But it was a small detail.
The room as a whole was absolutely wonderful and the nicest in which we had ever stayed. At that moment I could say that it was my favorite hotel ever, but my perspective may have been skewed by the fact that we had just finished a brutal 25 hours of travel. It was a perfect oasis of comfort.
The bed was heavenly. We slept very well our first night, and the next two as well. One handy thing was the fact that the light switches next to the lamps didn’t just control the lamps, but other lights in the room, too.
The desk was large and comfortable. There was a small tray with a hot water kettle, two mugs, tea, and instant coffee. The instant coffee was a surprise. With the going rate for the place often over €400, I figured they would offer better than that. Nescafé really doesn’t cut it.
Compared to a U.S. hotel of similar quality, the T.V. was small. It didn’t really matter, though, because we never turned it on. Besides the first night of our vacation, I don’t think we ever turned a TV on. With how connected millennials’ lives are to the internet, I wonder if the television will be obsoleted someday.
The place had three phones. One on the desk, one by the bed, and one…..in the toilet room. Cause that’s totally normal. This was actually mystifying at first, and after doing some research, the best answer I found was that it is most likely just because of the diamond ratings for properties, and also likely a holdover for business travelers from the pre-cellphone days.
The room had a small computerized minibar with a selection of drinks and snacks. We never help ourselves to any, but the prices started around €5 and moved quickly upward. There was a small section in the minibar that we used to store our own food.
Our 8th floor room was classified as ‘Partial Sea View’. In reality, it was a pool view room. While it is true that the ocean is technically visible from the balcony, because of the structure of the front of the hotel, we could only see a few square feet of the Mediterranean. The better rooms were clearly either one floor up, or a few floors down.
The balcony with table and chairs was great for relaxing. We spent some time enjoying the warm and humid summer air of the French Riviera.
The room did give us a view of the pool and terrace restaurant. On our final morning, I finally took a half-hour swim. Staff were busy cleaning and setting out towels, and I felt like I was disrupting them a little. I don’t think they expected anyone in the pool so early.
Since neither my wife nor I have Hyatt Diamond status, breakfast wasn’t complimentary. Nor was it included in our rate. The morning buffet costs over €25 per person, so we weren’t even tempted. I enjoyed breakfast one morning at a little place just down the street called Sarao.
It was quite good, and I felt like it gave me at least a taste of the typical French breakfast. The coffee is still American style. I can’t get used to the typical French coffees, which are essentially a shot of espresso.
The Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditerranée has great beach access. The hotel offers daily sunbed and umbrella reservations at one of the private beaches nearby for €27. This is a bit rich for my blood, not to mention sunning myself on the beach really isn’t my thing.
The old city is a mere ten minute walk, and was the highlight of our time in Nice. My wife loved the market. Nice is famous for its flower market, but there are plenty more vendors selling local produce, cheeses, and other products.
The best treat, though, was the socca, a regional specialty. It is like a giant pancake made of chickpea flour, water, oil, and salt. Fresh out of the pan, socca is absolutely delicious! We wife hopes to make it at home.
Overall, our stay at the Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditerranée was a spectacular use of our free night certificates. Nice is very expensive in the summer, and we were able to stay at a wonderful beachfront hotel for only the cost of the city taxes (~$20). Our room was wondrously comfortable and the hotel was in a great location. It is a stay that I would gladly repeat.